English | Dzongkha Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Plans to establish Samtse as Dzongkhag Thromde on hold

Nov 28, 2020

The plans to establish Samtse as the fifth Dzongkhag Thromde is on hold. Responding to the Member of Parliament from Bartsham_Shongphu Passang Dorji (PhD) at the National Assembly yesterday, the Prime Minister said this is owing to the financial constraints amid the COVID-19 situation. 

According to Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering, the domestic revenue slumped during the pandemic. The government may not be able to meet the recurring expenditure incurred if Samtse is established as a new Thromde.

“We compared and proposed Samtse Thromde plan with Gelegphu Thromde. The two thromdes are similar in the area as well. Gelephug is 4.4 square kilometres and Samtse is 4.8 square kilometres. Even the population density is the same. Recurring expenditure for Gelegphu Thromde is Nu 120 M. For Samtse, it may cost more initially. At a time when the domestic revenue is affected, we are continuously working on our plans and regulations but implementation is halted for now,” said Lyonchhen.

The Prime Minister, however, informed the House that an expert committee formed under the Works and Human Settlement Ministry found Samtse feasible to be established as a dzongkhag thromde.

“Business will boom since Samtse is connected to Haa and Phuentshogling with highways. The road to Tendruk is also being maintained. Moreover, Samtse is in close proximity to the neighbouring Indian city of Siliguri. The Government is also working with the Indian Government to establish a railroad link with India, which is closer to Samtse. So, establishing a thromde in Samtse is feasible,” Lyonchhen added.

Samtse, as a Dzongkhag Thromde, is in the plan since 2018 as part of the National Day Footprint Initiative.

Sherub Dorji

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